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What are the Best Certifications for Cyber Security Freshers?
By Arijit Banerjee
As we race ahead with dogged determination to embrace technology, we remain oblivious to the pitfalls of breaches and security infringements. The last couple of years have seen media debacles of mega companies like Facebook suffering from severe backlash due to security breaches. Recently Aadhar had one billion records breached, with fraudsters and hackers gaining easy access to company databases, the demand for cybersecurity experts has reached gargantuan proportions.
More than a million jobs are being created worldwide every year for information security professionals. While companies are facing acute shortage of information security professionals, they are also looking for candidates with top class certifications in the field of information security. As a fresher, these are some of the cybersecurity certifications you need to be looking at as a prospective hiree.
CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker
Hackers are ingenuous in their ability to not only innovate and brainstorm solutions to potential breaches but they also have to have a knack to exploit system vulnerabilities and counter attack advanced information security systems.
Ethical hackers learn all the nuances and tricks to beat illegal hackers at their own game. Once glitches and loopholes in a system are identified, these are then used to devise strategies to counter and plug these loopholes. The CEH course is an intermediate level course which equips candidates with necessary skills to identify vulnerable access points and design preventive measures towards unwanted access.
Applicants for this cybersecurity course are trained in evading firewalls, honey pots, trojans, viruses, worms, cryptography, penetration testing and a whole range of information security practices.
MTA - Microsoft Technology Associate
Learning the security fundamentals under this information security course is an intrinsic requirement for students at the high school or college level who are intrigued by cybersecurity and wish to take up a career in it. This course gives innate knowledge of simplistic security parameters related to software, networks and operating systems.
After having studied for this, you must pass an exam for $125 which then gives you a certification. Microsoft has mandated that candidates have some first-hand experience in firewalls and Windows servers and networking.
This is one of the most critical and mandatory courses for young freshers who want to bring their A game in the field of cybersecurity. This course gives a nuanced and step by step understanding of cryptography, threat analysis and a comprehensive strategy for mitigating risk.
The security+ course structure entails understanding the following
•Access Management and Identity Management techniques using multi factor authentication
•What are threats and vulnerabilities
•Understanding network and application architecture
•Tenets of Cryptography
ISACA Cybersecurity Fundamentals
ISACA offers several elite certification courses in the field of information security. However the above course is fairly new in this arena. While the other courses cater to an intermediate and advanced clientele, the cybersecurity fundamentals course enables entry level students to gain niche knowledge in the field of cybersecurity.
Those who have progressed to a post graduate degree in IT are well served to take advantage of this course. The course gives adequate knowledge in five cybersecurity domains namely incident response; security of applications, networks and systems; architecture principles and concepts. Stress is also laid on evolving concepts in the area of cybersecurity. It costs less and does not require re-certification nor does it expire.
GIAC Information Security Fundamentals
For freshers who are looking at a career in system administration, managers and information security officers, this is perhaps a befitting course. The program stresses upon defence-in-depth techniques, disaster recovery plans, business continuity plans, assurance principles and security policies.
The GIAC exam is more challenging than other certifications because it forces candidates to apply problem solving techniques. While freshers certainly benefit from this course, it is widely recommended that candidates with some work experience apply for this course as practical knowledge would aid them in doing well on the course.
Candidates are advised to prepare well for these certifications and take them seriously. Examination guides, the use of flash cards and highly rated practice tests will help you to ace the exam with flying colours. Some time devoted to self-study also helps. Some students benefit from instructor led training. These are available online but come at a high cost. It is infinitely better to seek help from seniors in the industry who are well versed in the field of information security.
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